Bayer ordered to pay $1.56 billion in latest US trial loss over Roundup weedkiller. Four plaintiffs claimed that Bayer’s Roundup weedkiller caused injuries, including cancer, and a Missouri jury awarded them $1.56 billion. This verdict could increase investor pressure on the German pharmaceutical and agricultural chemicals corporation to alter its legal approach.
According to court documents, a jury in Cole County, Missouri, on Friday concluded that Bayer’s Monsanto company was accountable for carelessness, design flaws, and neglecting to notify plaintiffs about the possible risks of using Roundup.
The three plaintiffs—Jammy Draeger of Missouri, Daniel Anderson of California, and Valorie Gunther of New York—were awarded $61.1 million, including $500 million in punitive damages. Each person received a non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis, which they claimed was the result of using Roundup on their family’s land. Brenda, Draeger’s wife, received a $100,000 settlement for the alleged injuries she sustained as a result of her husband’s illness.
Since the punitive damages exceed the guidance of the US Supreme Court, they may be lowered on appeal. According to Bayer, glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, has been established through decades of research to be safe for human use.
After nine consecutive trials in which the business was deemed not liable to plaintiffs, this ruling represents Bayer’s fourth straight setback in court. One of Bayer’s top ten shareholders, Union Investment, urged the business earlier this month to consider contacting plaintiffs to resolve additional disputes.
The first of many victories on behalf of thousands of plaintiffs was declared in a statement by Bart Rankin, a Forrest Weldon partner who represented the plaintiffs. In a statement, Bayer stated that it has compelling reasons to get the most recent rulings overturned in an appeal.
It claimed that in the recent legal cases against the corporation, plaintiffs were wrongfully allowed to distort the safety evaluation conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the European Union’s glyphosate renewal procedure.
Following the failure of EU member states to provide a definitive position on the renewal, the European Commission announced last week that it would extend its approval of glyphosate based on safety evaluations from the European Food Agency and European Chemicals Agency.
Approximately 165,000 lawsuits have been filed against the business for claiming personal injury from Roundup, which Bayer purchased in 2018 as part of its $63 billion acquisition of the agrochemical business Monsanto.
Bayer paid up to $10.9 billion to resolve most of the outstanding Roundup lawsuits in 2020. Approximately fifty thousand claims are still outstanding, as per regulatory filings.